No. 311 NAI DFA 217/39

Confidential report from Francis T. Cremins to Joseph P. Walshe (Dublin)
(X.163) (217/39)

Geneva, 11 October 1940

I have to state, for the information of the Minister, that on the 10th October, 1940, as notified to you by telegraph, I presented my Letter of Credence, as Chargé d'Affaires of Ireland, to M. Pilet-Golaz,1 President of the Swiss Confederation, Head of the Federal Political Department. M. Pilet-Golaz received me in his capacity as Head of the Federal Political Department in his cabinet de travail at the Département Politique. I attach copy of a note which I received from the Département confirming the arrangements for the presentation.

M. Pilet-Golaz received me very cordially. I handed him the letter, which I had closed in accordance with what I was informed was the usual custom. He did not open the letter while I was there, but handed it to M. de Grenus,2 who was present, saying, 'We can look at the document later'. He then asked me to sit down and began to talk about Ireland, touching on many aspects of our affairs, our neutrality, trade, horses, population, etc., and on general matters. He expressed no views on the present international situation but he seemed to think that Ireland, and the same applied to Switzerland, had a measure of safety in not being rich in raw materials such as iron and oil. The interview lasted half an hour. When I was leaving, he expressed his pleasure that Berne would have an Irish representative, and he assured me that I would get every help from the various departments in the fulfilment of my mission, while, as for himself, he would be most happy to receive me at any time I thought that personal conversations would be helpful for the solution of any question that might be under discussion between our two countries.

I attach also copy of a note3 which I received from M. de Grenus relating to the leaving of cards on the Federal Councillors. I learn from the recently appointed Chargé d'Affaires of Colombia that he was informed by the Secretary of the Nunciature, Mgr. Sensi, whom he saw in the absence of the Nuncio, that it is usual for Chargé d'Affaires to pay personal calls also on the Federal Councillors at their offices, though this did not seem to be the view of the Political Department. He paid brief calls accordingly. I will ascertain exactly what should be done before taking action.

[signed] F.T. Cremins

1 Maurice Pilet-Golaz (1889-1958), member of the Swiss Federal Council (1928-44) and President of the Swiss Confederation (1940).

2 Edmund de Grenus, Swiss Federal Political Department.

3 Not printed.

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